US Supreme Court v 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment established birthright citizenship & freed black slaves. It also contains this paragraph below, which specifically applied at the time to President Andrew Johnson who sought to conspire with Southern Democrats after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. President Johnson attempted to use his veto power to block congressional efforts to carry out the Reconstruction of the South.

“No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

As the WSWS has written, ‘This constitutional language leaves little room for interpretation. Trump was “an officer of the United States”— indeed, the chief officer— who took “an oath… to support the Constitution,” but who then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” The clause also bars from public office those who have given “aid and comfort” to an insurrection. Donald Trump is therefore barred from holding “any office” by the Fourteenth Amendment, just as Confederate president Jefferson Davis was banned from running for US office after the Civil War.’

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Elena Kagan pose for their group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., October 7, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

Last week the US Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides over a Colorado ruling that Donald Trump should be disqualified from the ballot on the grounds of him violating the 14th Amendment on 1/6/21. The US Supreme Court is packed with far right zealots & Trump appointees, so their decision has already been made– just like ‘Bush v Gore’ in 2000. If the US Supreme Court needed to rule that ‘2+2=5’ then it would find some technicality or distort whatever reality is necessary to confirm that majority opinion. There are no checks & balances on government power, just class interests concealed under the illusion of democracy.

Thousands of MAGA Trumpists swarmed over the Capitol building on 1/6/21 with the purpose of stopping the certification of the 2020 election for Joe Biden. Trumpists attacked Capitol & DC police and were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” Scores of cops were injured and five people died as a result. Donald Trump told his mob to “Fight like hell or you won’t have a country anymore.” That’s as clear-cut a violation of the US Constitution as it gets, and everyone saw it on live TV. Trumpists act like they are so persecuted, but Joe Biden & his Democrats protect Trump more than anyone.

The State of Colorado’s oral arguments are legally sound, but have been met with hostility & indifference from the justices. Clarence Thomas & Samuel Alito directed a barrage of politically-loaded questions at the attorneys for the State of Colorado, as compared to Trump’s lawyer who rambled technically & incoherently for a few minutes & then quickly signed off with no questions from any of the justices concerning their paper-thin defense [!]. Basically, Trumpists are threatening another insurrection if the Supreme Court upholds Colorado’s decision.

The US Supreme Court is being asked to make a decision it doesn’t want to make– a sure sign it has outlived its usefulness. The State of Colorado (and its voters) are seeking clarity, while the Supreme Court tries to dodge & duck the issue. Justice Clarence Thomas & his wife Ginny were part of the 1/6 insurrection, yet he has not recused himself due to conflict of interest. These are the ethics of the SC, where justices consider themselves (& Trump) to be above the law in a constitutional system of ‘checks & balances’ that is nothing more than out-of-control corruption.

There are six Republican appointed justices and three Democrat appointees on the SC. None of the Democrat appointees are challenging the Trump narrative. No discussion of Trump’s failed coup attempt and what it means. All the Supreme Court wants to do is deflect, split hairs, and keep Trump on the ballot. That’s pre-decided here. The critical question the SC is avoiding is, “Did Trump attempt an insurrection to overthrow the US Constitution on 1/6/21?”

If the Supreme Court refuses to examine the issue of whether Donald Trump incited an insurrection on 1/6/21, then what purpose do they serve except to protect privilege? Two states (Colorado & Maine) have defined Trump’s actions as insurrection. The Supreme Court’s job is to address that issue directly and with impartiality. They are doing neither.

Trump lawyers argue it’s up to Congress to rule on this matter. It’s been three years since the House voted to impeach Trump for insurrection and the Senate acquitted him behind Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell who himself was a target of the Trump mob on 1/6. Nothing since from Congress, or Joe Biden, so it now falls to the Supreme Court. A clear & Constitutionally-sound ruling by the US Supreme Court is required to maintain any illusion of democracy in American politics, yet it will not be allowed to happen. What is being illustrated now is the complete rot & corruption of capitalist politics.

To be fair & balanced, the 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of JFK provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation. Clearly Joe Biden is mentally incapacitated. Disqualification of Donald Trump under the 14th Amendment is entirely justified, just as is removing Joe Biden from the office of President due to his diminished mental capacity. It is entirely reasonable that the people of the Untied States should expect any Presidential candidate to take a mental exam to prove competency, and it is likewise reasonable to bar from public office those who willfully violate the Constitution.